Pergamum: Energy-efficient Archival Storage with Disk Instead of Tape

Appeared in ;login: — The USENIX Magazine 33(3).


Is the cart leading the horse when it comes to long-term digital storage? Few would disagree that there has been a tremendous shift toward writing our personal histories as digital data. The convenience of digital photos has lured people away from film, just as email has supplanted letters. Unfortunately, we have yet to demonstrate that we can reliably preserve digital data for more than a few years. Will future generations be able to browse the sentimental and historical artifacts we leave them the way we might flip through our grandparents’ photo albums? Clearly, the long-term preservation of data requires a storage system that can evolve over time, while remaining cheap enough to allow the retention of anything that might be important. To fill this need, we have developed Pergamum,

a distributed network of energy-efficient, hard drive–based storage appliances. Each of our devices, which we call a Pergamum tome, offers the low-latency access times of disks while being cheaper to buy and operate than either disk- or tape-based systems.

Publication date:
June 2008

Mark W. Storer
Kevin Greenan
Ethan L. Miller
Kaladhar Voruganti

Archival Storage

Available media

Full paper text: PDF

Bibtex entry

  author       = {Mark W. Storer and Kevin Greenan and Ethan L. Miller and Kaladhar Voruganti},
  title        = {Pergamum: Energy-efficient Archival Storage with Disk Instead of Tape},
  journal      = {;login: — The USENIX Magazine},
  volume       = {33},
  number       = {3},
  month        = jun,
  year         = {2008},
Last modified 5 Aug 2020